Hey, all you Facebook patriots…Maybe instead of all your righteous indignation that Colin Kaepernick has some issues with how Blacks are treated in this country, you could go donate blood, or read a book about the Civil Rights movement or by Ta-Nehisi Coates or Ralph Ellison or Elie Wiesel (look it up), or, really, any book with words and sentences, or maybe take your kids to the Holocaust Museum in D.C. so they can learn what happens when you demonize people based upon their race or religion in order to feel better about the fact that you’re an underachieving loser who thought you were entitled to pretty much everything simply because you were born white.
Or maybe you could actually go visit a veteran of war and ask them what they think about their military experience, what it meant in their lives, how it changed them, and how they feel about being commandeered by narrow-minded, low information voters through craven, pandering memes, in the name of “patriotism”?
Last summer, I spent quite a lot of time with my Dad (West Point Class of 1955, 25 years in the military, a whole host of medals, including a Bronze Star for his service in Viet Nam in 1968-1969). We talked about a lot of things, including his Army tenure, and the impact it had on his life. Most of you “patriots” – you know, all you people who get so outraged at the idea of transgendered servicemen and women (like any of you are brave or selfless enough to serve, or could even pass the fitness test) – have no clue what men and women in uniform endure, especially when in combat, or how it changes them and their families, and you rarely vote for leaders who give a crap about veterans. Still, you’re awfully quick to wave the flag and invoke dead servicemen and women when a black guy with an afro says he’s tired of the racism in this country. And if you’re arrogant or ignorant or just plain stupid enough to insist that racism doesn’t exist, may you be reincarnated, quickly, as a person of color in the United States so you can see how easy it is to walk around in skin that isn’t white.
I am beyond disgusted by those who know nothing – NOTHING – about the facts underpinning most of the nonsense currently going on in this country in the name of “patriotism,” though I do derive some level of mean-spirited schadenfreude knowing that their Fuhrer, President Trump, will soon enough be coming for them (though they will be too dim-witted and self-satisfied to notice until its too late). These people, who get their news from Facebook memes, find themselves without any facts whatsoever to support their despicable opinions, and so they post photos of wounded servicemen and flag-draped coffins in an attempt to use people like my Dad as an excuse to be a misogynistic, racist, asshole.
It would be far more honest if, instead of pretending like you have any real investment in or understanding of American History, our founding documents, or Supreme Court jurisprudence, you’d just post a picture of your face and say, “I hate anyone who isn’t a straight, white, Christian,” (oh, and by the way, maybe use your own words, instead of hiding behind someone else’s moronic GIFs), because that’s exactly what your posts say about you, no matter how many pictures of American flags and wounded warriors you post. To be fair, maybe you don’t hate racial, ethnic, or religious minorities – as long as they know their place and aren’t doing better than you. After all, some people are more equal than others.
My Dad, and men and women like him, understood that part of what they were fighting for was the protection of people like Kaepernick to express himself (though maybe not for fellow NFL’ers who beat the shit out of their girlfriends without fear of white outrage or boycotts, or racist sheriffs who blatantly thumb their noses at the law they think does not apply to them). That’s the same freedom of expression, by the way, that allowed you to question President Obama’s citizenship or loyalty or competency without being hauled off to the Gulag, the way they do in Russia – though that may become the reality soon enough, if your fact-free president has his way.
Those brave men and women didn’t fight in wars or serve their country so that you could post moronic GIFS featuring pictures of them to justify the fact that you are a horrible human being who wishes that people who don’t look like you, or worship like you, didn’t exist. Fun fact? If, somehow, they didn’t, you’d still be a loser, just one in search of a scapegoat.
So just stop it. Stop pretending you’re a “patriot,” or that your values reflect those of the men and women who have fought for the sovereignty of this country or the rights enumerated in the Constitution (which I’m pretty sure you’ve never even read). Stop pretending you’re anything other that what you are, because, guess what?
We all know exactly what that is.